Numerical Simulation of Turbulence-Induced Flocculation and Sedimentation in a Flocculant-Aided Sediment Retention Pond

Lee, Byung Joon;Molz, Fred

  • Received : 2014.03.27
  • Accepted : 2014.06.13
  • Published : 2014.06.30


A model combining multi-dimensional discretized population balance equations with a computational fluid dynamics simulation (CFD-DPBE model) was developed and applied to simulate turbulent flocculation and sedimentation processes in sediment retention basins. Computation fluid dynamics and the discretized population balance equations were solved to generate steady state flow field data and simulate flocculation and sedimentation processes in a sequential manner. Up-to-date numerical algorithms, such as operator splitting and LeVeque flux-corrected upwind schemes, were applied to cope with the computational demands caused by complexity and nonlinearity of the population balance equations and the instability caused by advection-dominated transport. In a modeling and simulation study with a two-dimensional simplified pond system, applicability of the CFD-DPBE model was demonstrated by tracking mass balances and floc size evolutions and by examining particle/floc size and solid concentration distributions. Thus, the CFD-DPBE model may be used as a valuable simulation tool for natural and engineered flocculation and sedimentation systems as well as for flocculant-aided sediment retention ponds.


Computational fluid dynamics;Flocculation;Modeling;Population balance equation;Sedimentation


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